Written by   |   May 31 2019   |   Read 481 times

Marketing automation is a powerful tool for increasing the revenue of your small business. The big guys have been using it for years to achieve phenomenal customer retention numbers, but it is just as effective for businesses of all sizes. Small companies may benefit more, in fact, as they simply do not have the time and resources to handle a full marketing campaign.  Fortunately, Marketing Automation is now very affordable and easy to use so small businesses can reap the benefits of this technology as well.

So what is Marketing Automation? Think of Marketing Automation as a smarter and more powerful version of email marketing. Where email marketing enables you to create and send email campaigns and track results, Marketing Automation takes it further and allows you to plan and execute extended customer interactions without requiring any manual intervention.

Here's an example of Marketing Automation...

Say you share an invitation to a webinar on your LinkedIn account that links to a registration form on your website. Submissions are automatically entered into your CRM and are placed into your campaign. A ‘thank you for registering’ email is sent. A few days before the webinar, a reminder email is sent and another reminder the day before. After the webinar, a follow-up email is sent with a link to a PDF with more information. If the PDF is opened, an activity is scheduled against the contact so that they can be followed up with a call a day later. If you have a large group of attendees, you can focus your time on the leads with the most interest.

 

These are 5 ways in which Marketing Automation can help your small business to grow.

1. Free up Valuable Time

As a small business owner, you likely don't have a full marketing team behind you. This means that someone at your company will be spending time crafting emails to send to leads and customers. This takes valuable labour time away from the core of your business. Of course, you could opt to not send emails, but then your business will stagnate. The costs of a stagnating business are even greater than the reduced labour efficiency of having someone handle the marketing. So you continue on with the grind of marketing.

Marketing  Automation changes all that. After initially creating your content, Marketing Automation will automatically execute your strategy so you can get back to the business of making money and serving customers.

2. Increase Customer Retention

It is more profitable to have a returning customer than it is to bring in a new one. In fact, increasing customer retention by just 5% can increase profits by 25% to 95%1. This means that customer retention should be a priority for your company. If you are handling your marketing by hand, you might not find the time to reach out to past customers. If you do find the time, you may push for another sale before they are ready to buy or wait too long. You may send them news about content or product updates that they simply are not interested in. Marketing Automation can help keep your customers coming back by analysing the data from their interactions and sending relevant emails. These tactics help to create a long-term, valuable customer which in turn increases your business’ profits.

3. Easily Track Results

For a small business with limited resources, tracking the effectiveness of a marketing campaign can be a daunting task. Not only do you have to find the time to do it, but you potentially need skills outside of your current skill set. Marketing Automation makes tracking your results easy. Although in this case, you'll still have to take a few moments to take a look at the data and see what you can learn from it.

By tracking the performance of emails that you send out, you'll be able to more effectively tell what does and doesn't work. And this strategy works for more than just email. You'll be able to track customer behaviour, monitor traffic to your website, and measure campaign effectiveness with ease.  This gives you a powerful tool that allows you to constantly make simple tweaks to your strategy to see what works best. Over time, these small tweaks, constantly trending towards increased ROI, will make huge differences in the bottom line of your business.

4. Improved Lead Conversion

One very important area to track is your lead conversions. Making tweaks to landing pages, sales copy, product descriptions, and a variety of other aspects of your business and then tracking the results will help you ensure that your conversion funnels are operating at peak efficiency. This could mean a customer making a purchase, or a potential customer signing up for an email newsletter.

Getting new leads into your CRM is just the beginning. Marketing Automation really shines at turning those leads into paying customers. Just as it excels at getting previous customers to become repeat customers, Marketing Automation software will also help you to turn those leads into sales. After the sale, it can help with upsells and cross-sells that are tailored to the needs and desires of the specific customer.

In addition, Marketing Automation software will provide you with tools to increase customer feedback. This could be in the form of suggestions that improve your business, surveys that answer questions you may have about how your business operates, or testimonials that you can use to showcase your business.

The end result is that you will get more leads that turn into customers, get more business from those customers, and provide a mechanism to ensure that you are always providing the best service possible, which, of course, will help you gain more customers.

5. Grow Your Business

As mentioned, Marketing Automation can help you attract customers that aren't even in your CRM yet. Once they have become customers, the software will be constantly working to ensure that they become repeat customers. By working behind the scenes as your own personal marketing agency, Marketing Automation software will help you grow your business at a much faster rate than you would be able to own your own. More importantly, it will do so at a minimal cost to you, and with significantly reduced effort on your part compared to your current strategy.

We would love to talk to you more about how marketing automation can help grow your business. We invite you to sign up for a free trial of Act! Growth Suite to test out the Act! Marketing Automation software. Of course, if you have any questions, please contact us. We will be glad to answer questions you may have about Marketing Automation or Act! CRM.

 

1. Small Business Trends, Did You Know: A 5% Increase in Retention Increases Profits by Up to 95%

Cate Dempsey

As Managing Director, Cate Dempsey manages the strategic direction of the business along with the day to day management of the core team for Act Today.

Starting as CRM Consultant in 2001, Cate has an inside view of what clients need and want when it comes to CRM. Cate is able to bring her client facing experience into the strategy and decision making process, enabling Act Today to be very focused on customer experience and satisfaction.

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